Quotes of the Day
Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 27, 2013
And on a lighter note...
Ian Kennedy looked great in his final Spring Training start blanking the Angels over 6.2 innings while fanning eight batters. However, the Diamondbacks lost three players to injury en route to their 7-1 victory. Aaron Hill left the game in the first inning after being hit on the finger with a pitch by Jered Weaver. In the third inning, Willie Bloomquist strained an oblique after coming up empty on a big cut. Jason Kubel would join the pair on the bench in the fifth inning with ankle discomfort. The news was not all bad, however, as Alfredo Marte - a potential replacement for Kubel in the outfield - launched a massive home run to left center to cap off the seven-run eighth inning.
Why do people believe in the Dodgers? Their lineup looks like a retirement home for the terminally overpaid. I know the Dodgers have deep pockets, but they might have been better off just lighting their money on fire. I mean that literally - a flaming pile of U.S. currency might make a better shortstop than Hanley Ramirez.
The Diamondbacks again slot into the middle of the pack in the positional power rankings with Aaron Hill et al. holding it down at #11. Fangraphs projects 3.1 WAR for Aaron Hill in 2013.
Tis the season for team previews, and this one, like every other preview, picks the Diamondbacks to finish third in the NL West. The article highlights a few interesting statistics, however, namely that the Diamondbacks cost themselves 8.2 runs via the stolen base last year. The team added more speedsters in the off-season, and if Spring Training is any indication, they look to stay aggressive on the base paths in 2013. Will the risk be worth the reward?
ESPN brings us a nice bio piece on Tyler Skaggs. Nothing in the article is too terribly groundbreaking - Skaggs knows personnel moves aren't personal (I see what you did there Jerry Crasnick), he grew up rooting for the Angels, he modeled his curve ball off of Barry Zito, and, you know, HE WORKS OUT WITH RYAN BRAUN IN THE OFF-SEASON. Tyler, come on man, I can't help but think you can find a better spotter.
Around the League
Despite every media outlet picking the D-Backs to finish in the middle of the pack in the NL West, Tom Verducci likes the looks of Arizona's young rotation. Picking the Diamondbacks as a sleeper contender in 2013, Verducci writes, "If you get four starters to make 30 starts each, you're almost guaranteed to be in the playoffs....over the past five years, 15 teams have sent four starters to the mound at least 30 times each. Eleven of those 15 teams have made the playoffs, including every world champion from 2008-2012." Your ideas are intriguing to me, Tom, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
Micah Owings may be having the best spring of his career, and he hasn't pitched an inning. He's currently slashing .353/.371/.618 with 2 home runs over 34 at bats for the Nationals. His prowess at the plate is no secret, but it would be great if he could extend his career as a bench bat / part-time first baseman / emergency pitcher. Good luck Micah!
I went to college. I like baseball. Why don't I like college baseball? I've been meaning to take in a few ASU games while Packard Stadium still exists, and this primer might be a useful jumping off point for sparking an interest in pingy-stick-ball.